There are times when God speaks to me in the quiet of my heart. There are also times when I hear him in a seemingly appropriate place like church as well as in the most unspiritual places like kneeling next to the bathtub bathing the kids. And then there are times when God tries like crazy to get to me and I push Him off long enough that He takes action and slaps me upside the head.
Saturday morning began with such a slap.
I went to bed with big plans. I had a Saturday that was virtually free which is a rare occurrence. I planned to get in a long run in the morning and spend the rest of the day cleaning out the boys' cave. The new furniture hasn't arrived yet and I'm dying to get the room in shape before it does. I also had haircuts on the agenda so the boys would be allowed to enter the school today (not really that bad but awfully close). I didn't even have to worry about dinner since we had a dinner invitation for the whole family. It was shaping up to be a very productive day and it hadn't even started.
I was still lying in bed Saturday morning contemplating how badly I wanted to run when the phone rang. Nelson got it and asked me if we had plans today. I quickly went through my list after which he got back on the phone and said, "Yeah we'll do it, 11 o'clock sounds great."
I started moaning and Nelson let me know he would take the kids to the park and I could still go on my run. I hopped up and dressed for my run as the phone rang again. Nelson left the room and I gathered my gear.
I was filling my water bottle when he came in and asked, "You could get in a great run around the park while the kids are playing couldn't you?
"Um, no. I don't think this park lends itself to an eight miler," I joked.
"Hon," he said in his guilty voice, "I've got to take care of something. I'm not going to make it."
"No, no, no, no! I have plans. I told you to say no. I'm not going to get another Saturday in a long time. Please..." I pleaded.
"It's an emergency hon. I've got to do it."
He left the room to make some calls as I pulled out the eggs to feed the kids. I was a bit agitated trying to get together my argument that he had done this and he needed to fix it. I, after all, had plans. I continued to stew as I scrambled the eggs but as I broke them up in the bowl, something inside of me was scrambled right along with them. Truth be told, I was feeling kind of guilty that he was taking them to the park and I was doing something for me. I don't get to do many park outings these days and I'm missing them terribly.
He came back in the kitchen and as he put his arms around me for one of his 'I'm so guilty hugs' I relinquished. "Okay, if you'll take the kids to Sunday school in the morning and let me meet you at mass after my run, I'll take them to the park today."
"Deal," he said rather easily and off we went on our separate ways. The kids and I headed to the park with my niece, nephew and brother-in-law. The park was a few blocks from my brother's house so we called him on the way and invited him to meet us.
We got out of the car with the sun shining gloriously on the angelic heads of my beauties who were totally stoked with the open day and spacious park that lay before them.
We opened the car door, hopped out and cut loose. We played some baseball.
We tossed the football. We threw the frisbee. We(yes, we) slid down the slide.
We followed that by feeding the geese and watching the fish.
And then, as if by some divine design, a train went by. The kids ran to it, waved and I'll be if the conductor didn't blow the whistle. Triumphant indeed!
These two boys sat and watched the whole thing go by without saying a word.
We lingered. We played. We chatted. There was no agenda, no rush, no hurrying. The only thing that dragged us out of the park was the rumbling of those sweet little tummies and the fact that haircuts awaited.
I was in such a good mood I let the kids talk me into a picnic at Sonic, where we chatted and played some more. After haircuts and showers, we walked through the backyard and enjoyed a dinner with friends. And by the end of the day, I loved what God threw at me so much more than what I had planned.
I had unwound. Somewhere between my first moan that morning and sitting in the grass with my baby, my head gave up and my heart took over. Granted, it took God knocking me over the head to get my head to throw in the towel and realize that every once in awhile you have to just let go and be.
Now usually when I get hit over the head, it hurts. Today though, I saw stars and they were beautiful.